Welcome to your weekly bulletin – Wednesday 8th July 2020
This will contain a ‘Thought for the Week’ and will provide the opportunity for information sharing and prayer requests. Please ensure all items are with Carol Clarke no later than 9.00am on TUESDAYS.
Contact 0191 253 7651 or email@example.com
A THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK from Pastor Paul Newman
UNITY (ANOTHER NAME FOR ‘MISSION IMPOSSIBLE’?)
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
(Ephesians 4:1 – 6 NIV)
United is not a word that describes the people and the nations of the world in which we live today – perhaps it never has been. The ancient Genesis telling of the losing of fellowship with God by Adam and Eve soon sees the loving couple turn to bitter recrimination as soon as they have eaten of the prohibited fruit. Keep your social distance from that fruit, it will do you great harm says God. But they know better and before God we observe the playing out of the old cliché: Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent, and the serpent hadn’t a leg to stand on (Boom! Boom!).
The world is divided from top to bottom and that division is seen in every strand of human life and culture, from politics to the arts, from diet to clothing, from prosperity to poverty, between black and white, between straight and gay, between oppressed and free, between science and religion, between humanity and God. Yet God’s intention is a world united in Him, at one with Him.
How will this be when the agency of establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth has been given to the so-called Body of Christ? Let’s face it the church is as divided as any human institution could be. Church of England, Free Church of England, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Coptic, Armenian, Reformed, Calvinist, Neo-Calvinist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Free Methodist, Brethren, Pentecostal, New Frontiers, Hope, Hillsong etc., etc.,, etc.
During this lock down period I have discovered that our television is a smart TV, which means I can watch digital channels from the comfort my armchair. I have discovered some first class Christian material on YouTube that has proved a great blessing! I have also discovered some quite vile outlets where the whole point is to discredit and criticise other Christians, and to do so without mercy. These characters are quite happy to tell who will be going to hell and why – they are totally graceless and they only serve disunity contrary to the spirit of Christ. Sometimes I wonder whether, being so exclusive, they are members of churches with just one person in them – themselves!
One day Christians will be gathered around Christ in his Kingdom and it will become clear that the many battles some of them fought against their fellow believers were not only fruitless but worthless. There they are all focussed on the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ. Because they have managed to reach agreement? I think probably not! They are there because Jesus has called them to himself and all are there by his grace, and his grace alone
So the Christian community – the church – the body of Christ is called to be one. Indeed God commissions by the Holy Spirit men and women to lead the church into unity. A bit later in Ephesians 4 we read: “And he has appointed some with grace to be apostles, and some with grace to be prophets, and some with grace to be evangelists, and some with grace to be pastors, and some with grace to be teachers. Their calling is to nurture and prepare all the holy believers to do their own works of ministry, and as they do this they will enlarge and build up the body of Christ. These grace ministries will function until we all attain oneness in the faith, until we all experience the fullness of what it means to know the Son of God, and finally we become one perfect body with the full dimensions of spiritual maturity and fully developed in the abundance of Christ. And then our immaturity will end!”
So perhaps we had better get loving our sisters and brothers in Christ. C H Spurgeon once said: “Unless I can leave off loving Christ, I cannot cease loving those who love him.”
“So let us learn how to serve,
And in our lives enthrone him;
Each other's needs to prefer,
For it is Christ we're serving.” (Graham Kendrick, “The Servant King”)
OUR BUILDING MAY BE CLOSED BUT OUR CHURCH IS ALIVE! If you’re an activity/ministry leader we’d love to hear how you’re keeping in touch with your groups or how your work is continuing during the pandemic. To contribute an update please email Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org
WBBC LEADS WITH 'BRILLIANT MEETING' WITH MP ON CLIMATE AND NATURE - MESSAGE FROM DAVID GOLDING
Members of WBBC took a leading role in staging what Fiona Dear, Head of Campaigns at The Climate Coalition, called a “Brilliant Meeting” with Sir Alan Campbell, MP for the Tynemouth constituency, on 2 July, as part of the national ‘Virtual Lobby of Parliament’. CLT had unanimously commended the event to members and friends of the church.
Frustrated at the lack of focus on the core ‘asks’ at last year’s Lobby, in Westminster, David Golding adopted a ‘managerial approach’ to this year’s on-line event. Opening statements were most ably made by Anna Wardle and Jack Newton, both of whom will be entering the 6th Form at the High School in September. Then Crispian Oates and Susanne Wardle summarised two of the Coalition’s ‘Priority Asks’, on ‘Investment in climate- and nature-friendly infrastructure’, and the ‘Recovery of nature at home and abroad’, respectively.
Sir Alan, who responded most sympathetically to all he had heard and promised to bring our proposals to the attention of the Prime Minister. David rounded off the formal part of the meeting by thanking Sir Alan and all those involved, and emphasised the “desperate urgency” of the issues involved, following which the meeting was opened up to comments from others attending.
David says, “I appreciated everything which was said, but what sticks in my memory most of all is Anna’s closing plea to Sir Alan, “I ask you, not to let my generation down.” I’m sure she would say the same thing to each one of us older folks - may God grant that we’ll take it to heart.
Notes: The Climate Coalition is made up of over 130 organisations, with a combined membership of 20 million; Tearfund and other Christian relief and environmental agencies are prominent members. On Tuesday 2 July, over 220 meetings with MPs took place, and there are still more to come in the days and weeks ahead. Almost 14,000 people from all walks of life participated.
You can find the link to the videocast via the front page of our website: www.wbbc.org.uk, there you can also find the link to the audio podcast version.
Or you can go to Google or YouTube and search for Whitley Bay Baptist Church. You can also subscribe at YouTube which will mean that when you boot-up on a Sunday morning YouTube will take you directly to the new Videocast. To do this select the videocast on YouTube and then click the red ‘Subscribe’ button to the bottom right – that’s all you need to do.
PRAYER REQUESTS FROM CHAD update from Jenny Armstrong
In our support of the work at Guinebor 2 Hospital in Chad we are praying for 3 families - Mel and Tom Spears, Maisie and Rosa; Gareth and Bethan Shrubsole, Sam, Jonah and Eva; and Brian and Jackie Chilvers currently language learning in France before going out to Chad in September. Bethan tells us 'the first rains after 7 dry months mean that grass has suddenly sprouted out of nowhere and the miracle of God's creation is in full 'impress' mode with beautiful butterflies and sunbirds in the garden, many choruses of frogs and crickets at night and some truly awe inspiring electric storms. Things in Chad are opening up tentatively including places of worship and business.'
The Shrubsoles ask us to pray for the strategy and vision process of the hospital which Gareth has just started. That everyone participates with constructive ideas and that this process helps us all discern God's will for the next 10 years here at G2 Hospital. Also to pray for those most affected by the Coranavirus not only medically but those who have lost jobs or livelihoods, been separated from other families or even particularly for other Africans, those trapped here in Chad unable to support themselves here and unable to leave.
The Chilvers ask us to pray for Jackie's mum who is elderly and unwell and wisdom for Brian and Jackie regarding visiting. Also that they will be able to sort out the practical things they need to, ahead of going to Chad.
The Spears ask pray for perseverance for Tom in the hospital and wisdom in finding a sustainable rhythm of work. Also wisdom for Mel as she approaches the huge issue of community health here in Guinebor.
Please read more of their recent news and further prayer requests by going to bmsworldmision.org where you can click on People before scrolling down to find our couples. Click on Find Out More. Click on Updates and then Click on Download for their latest letters.
Please keep praying for them!
WBBC PRAYER REQUESTS
Esther finally got home on Sunday afternoon and Is enjoying time with the family. Please continue to pray for healing of her body. That new healthy cells will develop and that she’ll stay free from leukaemia cells. For protection from infection and that she’ll be free from side effects of treatment. Please also remember Ian, Eleanor and Nathan in your prayers. (Please continue to make contact via Ann Sudworth.)
Those close to Nan Kirkland following Nan’s recent passing especially the Kirkland family. Should you wish to send condolence/sympathy cards to the Kirkand family please send them to Nan's grandson:
Due to present circumstances the funeral will take place at Whitley Bay Crematorium on Friday 10 July at 12.45pm. Attendance will be by invitation only as only 10 people may be present. However the family is planning to hold a full Thanksgiving Service at Whitley Bay Baptist Church as soon as it is possible to do so. No flowers please, donations to Dementia Care.
Please remember all those who work in Parish Nursing, in whatever role, all over the country. It has become a significant part of the life of many churches but too many of those who are active nurses and supporters have been struck down with serious illness. Please pray for their protection in the light that Christ is the Victor over all the powers of evil.
Those within our Church Family who have serious medical needs or are recovering from recent surgery but do not wish them to be shared. The Lord Jesus knows who they are and their need of healing, please seek him asking that they be made whole.